When your vacuum cleaner starts messing up it can be stressful and annoying, but there are a few things you can try that might get it working again. You're going to need a place to take it apart that you don't mind getting dirty, a screwdriver and a broom handle.
First we need to try to determine what is wrong with the vacuum. Has it lost its suction? Is it making a strange sound? Or maybe a strange smell?
Any or all of these problems could be caused by a broken or stretched-out belt. To get to the belt you are going to need to take the base cover off. This is where the screw driver comes in. Once you get the cover off you can see the belt and brush roller, or the piece that controls the vacuums roll across the floor. Make sure you look to make sure there aren't any strings or anything wrapped around the brush roller.
Carefully spin the brush roller to make sure that it can turn freely. If there is no tension or if it spins too loosely, the belt may need to be replaced. You should be able to remove the belt now. To replace the belt, go to your local store that sells vacuum cleaners. Wal-Mart, for example, has a book that will detail what parts are needed for each vacuum brand.
Problems with suction
If the brush roller and the belt look good, you may want to determine if the vacuum has proper suction. There are a couple of ways to check this. For example, when the vacuum is on, does the stuff already picked up swirl around? You want it to swirl because it is a sign that the vacuum is working. Also, check where the hoses could out of the vacuum into the attachments. Press your hand to this piece, is there suction?
If there is no or limited suction, you may have a clog. This is where the broom handle comes in. You are going to want to disconnect the hoses and lay them flat. Run the broom handle, or something similar, through the hose. Try to wiggle it just in case it's a small clog, you don't want to miss it.
Pet hair is a common cause of clogs. But, you may also find a child's toy, a set of keys or anything else that may have been sucked up the vacuum but was too big to move through. More than likely you will be able to push the clog out with the broom handle. Once you get the clog out, reattach the hoses and turn on the vacuum. Hopefully this fixed your problem.
If you did not find a clog and there is still no suction, you may want to contact the company or consult your owners manual for other troubleshooting tips.
If you're still having problems, you may want to check out your filters. Newer model Eureka vacuums have a high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter and a washable filter. Take these out and check them. They may be too clogged to move air and dust through the cleaner. HEPA filters should be replaced every few months, or whenever they are clogged.
You can wash the smaller, gray filter in your sink and let it dry. If you don't want to put it in your sink, take it outside and spray it out with the hose. You will need to buy a replacement HEPA filter. Once you clean and replace the filters, turn on the vacuum, make sure all your hoses are tight and see if it works any better.